• Cyril McAree

Global Greening Marks St Patrick’s Day

Ten years ago, Tourism Ireland approached the authorities in New South Wales, Australia, to ask if they’d consider lighting up the Sydney Opera House green on St Patrick’s Day. The occasion was the 200th anniversary of the first reception held for the Irish in Australia, by the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. It was a significant gesture from Australia – which has since been extended by many countries around the globe, in honour of our patron saint.

Tourism Ireland contemplated whether or not to go ahead with its Global Greening project this year, given the extremely difficult circumstances faced by our industry. The feedback Tourism Ireland received from around the globe was that, despite the global challenges of COVID-19, supporters of Ireland are still pressing ahead with Global Greening – to mark St Patrick’s Day and to keep Ireland to the fore in a positive light. Hundreds of iconic landmarks and sites in over 50 countries are set to go green over the next couple of days, as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2020 Global Greening initiative. This is helping to bring some positivity and hope to the 70+ million people around the world who claim links to the island of Ireland, as well as those travel and tourism professionals overseas and at home who promote the island of Ireland as a holiday destination.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are deeply grateful to Ireland supporters across the world who, despite unprecedented challenges, are marking St Patrick’s Day and remembering Ireland in a very positive light. We hope our Global Greening will bring a little positivity and hope to people everywhere and remind them that, if we all do the right thing now by following advice of our medical experts, this crisis will pass. And, that is something we can all look forward to. We would like to extend our support and solidarity to everyone affected by Covid-19, especially workers in the hospitality sector.”

From Brussels to Buenos Aires and from Sydney to San Francisco, a host of buildings and sites around the world are turning a shade of green to mark our national day. Madison Square Garden in New York, the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, Caerphilly Castle in South Wales and even the Smurf Statue in Brussels will join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for the first time in 2020.

Other sites and buildings taking part in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening 2020 for the first time include: City Hall in Bangkok, Palais du Peuple in Djibouti City, the National Theatre in London and the Palace Bridge in St Petersburg.

They are joined by some ‘old favourites’ which have gone green in previous years – including the London Eye, Burj al Arab, Niagara Falls, the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, the Chain Bridge in Budapest, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and many others.

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